MLB: Three Rule Changes in Order to Speed up the Game

Every year the major sports leagues try to increase the speed of the game. This is to make a better experience for the fan. Not only the ones that attend but also the ones watching on TV. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players union have had recent discussions about changing some rules that could do just that. We look at three major rules in discussion and their impact on the game.

Pitching Changes

There are plenty of times, late in the game, when a pitcher comes in and faces just one batter. Often a strategic move that managers do with careful consideration. However, the league is no longer in favor of this. They are proposing that a relief pitcher not come into the game until the previous pitcher has faced a minimum of three batters.

Not only would this change late game strategies it would also limit the use of the so-called “opener”. A term used by Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash and again by Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell. Both managers used a “starting” pitcher for only one batter.

The union proposes that this start in the minors this season and if successful, move the rule to the majors in 2020.

Mound Visits – Without Pitching Changes

There has already been movement on this rule. Last season there was a limit of six visits allowed by staff to the mound. The league wants to lower that to four this season and three in 2020. I am in favor of this rule. I believe that there are often too many visits for no reason to the mound. Put some responsibility back on the catcher to make some of the lesser visits.

The players union proposes five this year. Then if the average 9-inning game is longer than last year, cut it to four in 2020.

Inning Breaks

Often the time between innings seems like it takes forever. Especially on games that are nationally televised. The players union is willing to discuss ways to shorten this in order to speed up the game. This includes the possible use of split screens on television in order for the league and stations to run commercials. Meanwhile, the game can continue during the commercial break and the TV audience would not miss any of the action.

These are three of several rules changes both MLB and the players union are proposing. It is all about making the experience better for the fan. Something that I am all for.

How do you feel about some of the proposed rules changes in major league baseball? Leave a comment below.

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